Most New Homes For Sale Haven’t Even Been Built Yet

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NOTD - 90%

The Balance

That's the share of new homes for sale that aren’t completed yet, according to a new report—the highest ever as homebuilders work through an enormous backlog and try to meet strong demand from homebuyers. 

Of the 367,000 homes for sale in July—the highest since 2008—90% were either unfinished or not even started, tied with June for the highest percentage on record, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Census Bureau.

Sales of new single-family houses in July ticked up 1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000, the bureau said in a report Tuesday, surprising economists who had expected a downturn. The increase was the result of more homes coming on the market, economists said.

“Builders have plenty of projects in the pipeline to meet demand and are likely to keep construction activity running on all cylinders for the foreseeable future,” economists at First Trust said in a commentary. “As more homes become available, we expect demand will remain strong and help boost sales later in 2021 and beyond.”

New home sales have been stymied by lack of inventory for months, as builders faced rising materials costs and labor shortages at the same time demand for houses soared. Meanwhile, prices went skyward—the median new home sold in July for a record $390,500, up from $370,200 the month before. But builders have picked up the pace of construction recently—a positive sign for homebuyers hoping for a bit of balance to return to the market.

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